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What the Landscape in the Paining Tells about - Research Paper Example

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The discourse “What the Landscape in the Painting Tells about” elaborates the idea that background applied in artists’ paintings helped their audience to understand actual concepts. Onlookers could feel how artist’s coevals lived by examining shifts in depictions or deliberate misrepresentation…
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What the Landscape in the Paining Tells about
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Download file to see previous pages In the 15th century, Italian artist Sassetta painted “The Journey of the Magi.”  This is a tempera and gold paint on wood measuring about the size of a standard American sheet of paper depicting a caravan of people moving down a hillside.  The museum explains that this painting was actually only a small panel of a larger work which showed the Journey and the Adoration of the Magi – the second and lower panel is in a different museum.  This panel shows the caravan of the three Magi as they make their way across the desert to Jesus’ birthplace.  The grand castles in the background symbolize their combined power and the colorful clothing and adornments on their horses and bodies demonstrate their wealth.  The tan hills of the background are tall and pointed, as would be normal in the Italian countryside yet betraying the artist’s lack of experience with the concept of sand dunes.  Other elements that betray his lack of information include the caravan’s use of fine horses as pack animals and the dotting of leafless deciduous trees decorating the ground here and there.  Barely recognizable within the cracks of the paint are the figures of a flock of birds.  Two blue birds with long legs appear quite openly on the top of one hill and help to bring attention to the white and dark birds in the sky, flying in the same direction as the caravan.  This symbolizes the idea that all of nature is attentive to the birth of the Christ child.  The foreground area is filled with an almost white color texturized to give it the smooth-rough appearance of drifting sand or even snow, reminding the viewer that this is an event that took place in the winter.  A brilliant tailed star sits at about the center point of this foreground hill with its tail pointing steadily down.  This seems an abnormal place for such a feature but, as the museum explains, this positioning is intentional as it sits directly above the Madonna and child in the other half of the original work. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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